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UK and UAE to jointly research renewable energy

Britain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will jointly fund £1 million for research into renewable energy policy.

The Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) and the Masdar Institute will co-fund research that draws on domestic experiences of policy designed to promote the deployment of renewable energy. The research will support the work of the International Renewable Energy Association (IRENA) to advise countries on implementing renewable energy legislation.

DECC and the Masdar Institute will also launch a partnership of government bodies and private sector companies to be directed and hosted by the Masdar Institute. The partnership will develop, support and guide small businesses to deploy low-carbon energy sources on a massive scale.

London-based sustainable financiers Earth Capital Partners have estimated the potential investment opportunity for the private sector at £2 billion.

“These two new collaborative projects are examples of exactly the type of global collaborative effort that we must encourage to tackle climate change problems,” says DECC energy secretary Ed Miliband.

“A key part of our mission is to help translate ideas to the market, and working with small and medium-sized enterprises from the UK and the UAE to grow and be successful is essential in establishing a thriving renewable energy sector in both our countries,” adds John Perkins, Provost of the Masdar Institute.

The partnership will present its first ideas at the European Future Energy Forum to be held this October in London. The fund and the set up of the working group were finalised at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi.

During that summit, 500 delegates from 120 member states of IRENA attended the agency’s third session of the preparatory commission, to decide on the work programme and budget for this year.

In 2010, IRENA will establish itself as the global base for renewable energy knowledge by collecting and sharing knowledge about renewable energy. It will act as a clearing house on existing renewable energy technologies that have worked in the past and could be deployed globally, as well as promising innovative technologies.

Its budget for this year will be US$14m and will focus on building a network of international renewable energy experts, starting to map the global potential of renewables and to build a database of policies to promote renewable energy.

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